I adopted two teenagers – first my son, at age 14; and then five years later my daughter, at age 16. With some similarities in their backgrounds and stories, my kids are as different as they come! My son is loud and gregarious, loves to learn, and threw himself into life in my neighborhood, forming friendships with peers and adults. My daughter is reserved and responsible and already had strong ties to adults at the after school program at her school, which was an important support to her in her transition to life with an adoptive family.
Parenting any child has its challenges and joys, and certainly my children came with many of both. As teenagers, they were simultaneously preparing to live as adults, healing from past wounds, and bonding with a new parent, and this process was not easy for any of us. At times I did not know whether our bond was strong enough to last when they were no longer living at home. Yet, with both kids now grown into young adults, I am finding that they share more ties to me than I had realized at the time and am delighting in seeing how their unique histories have helped form them into kind and resilient adults.